Almost Famous possible for New Year's stakes

The Sports NetworkDecember 22, 2013 

Hallandale Beach, FL ( - It will be four years since trainer Pat Byrne and owners Charles and Maribeth Sandford won the 2012 Florida Derby with Take Charge Indy.

Now the trio have another contender being aimed for the stakes and other races on the trail to the Triple Crown.

Almost Famous is in the barn of Byrne for the Sanfords and is likely to make his next start in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby at a mile on New Year's Day.

"The Gulfstream Park Derby is a good spot for him," Byrne noted. "It wasn't originally in my plans, but he's acting like he wants to run and he's doing well.

"We'll take it one race at a time, but obviously the Florida Derby would be a nice target, and we'll go from there. Gulfstream is always a tough meeting."

The 2013 Gulfstream Park Derby was won by Itsmyluckyday who followed by claiming the Holy Bull Stakes. He was second to Orb in the Florida Derby and eventually was runner-up in the Preakness Stakes behind Oxbow.

Almost Famous won two of his first three career starts, but suffered a bruised hind hoof and had to be scratched from the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.

The colt worked four furlongs in 48 2/5 seconds at Palm Meadows on Dec. 18.

"He put in a nice work," Byrne said. "I lost a couple of days with him when I had to scratch out of the Jockey Club in Kentucky, but he's back and his foot is good."

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